The UFC interim middleweight title will probably be up for grabs after this spring, and I will give my thoughts on the UFC’s most up-to-date name combat announcement in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum With UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker hurt, the UFC has made a decision to create an interim belt and it’ll be at stake in the primary event at UFC 236, which is set for April 13 at a yet-to-be-determined location. In the blue corner will be Israel Adesanya, fresh off his win over Anderson Silva in UFC 234, while in the red corner will be Kelvin Gastelum, that had his struggle against Whittaker removed in the last minute the afternoon of UFC 234.
The news of Adesanya vs. Gastelum was first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. No location was declared, but rumors Twitter possess the event pegged for Atlanta, Georgia, though that is far from supported at this time.
Betting odds for your bout also were released here on MMAOddsBreaker.
Creating an interim title will probably be contentious for a few considering what happened last season with Colby Covington and Tony Ferguson winning handheld belts and then not getting shots in the undisputed names, however it was a requirement because of Whittaker having not fought since last July against Yoel Romero. The UFC had to maintain the middleweight division moving together in his absence, so as far as this author’s opinion is concerned, an interim name at 185lbs was certainly the right choice from UFC president Dana White and co..
As far as the matchup goes, the Adesanya vs. Gasltelum fight on paper looks like it has the potential to be a huge fight. Adesanya (16-0) is coming from a decision win over the legend Silva and overall is 5-0 at the Octagon with other noteworthy victories over Brad Tavares and Derek Brunson. At age 29, Adesanya is smack dab into his prime and shows improvements virtually every time we see him fight. Surethe Silva struggle wasn’t his best performance, but he got his hands raised, took no more damage in the process, along with the win ended up making him a title shot. Gastelum (15-3, 1 NC) is currently 10-3, 1 NC complete in the UFC and he’s got a 4-1, 1 NC record as a middleweight. Gastelum is coming from back-to-back wins over Michael Bisping and Ronaldo”Jacare” Souza and at age 27 he’s right in his prime as well. The two Adesanya and Gastelum are two of the top middleweights around the planet right now, and considering that the striking acumen of both guys, this has the capacity to be a firefight.
So far as the odds go, they have not been released yet, but I’d expect the offshore sportsbooks to offer something up for the fight soon. If I had to guess, Adesanya will be the betting favorite, although Gastelum absolutely will be a live dog in this fight due to his knockout power. It will be interesting to find out what other conflicts are going to be added to UFC 236 in the forthcoming weeks, however this interim name fight between Adesanya and Gastelum is a superb beginning to the card’s reservations.
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